Napoli will look to pick up a solid win when they host Verona at the San Paolo Stadium in the Serie A on Saturday.
The Partenopei are currently 4th in the league table, with 13 points from 7 games. They trail leaders Juventus by 6 points and Inter Milan by 5 points while Atalanta is 3 points ahead of them.
Meanwhile, AS Roma is just a point behind in 5th while the likes of Lazio, Cagliari and Fiorentina are all just 2 points behind. Thus, it is important for Carlo Ancelotti’s side to keep winning if they want to stay in the title hunt and also not drop out of the UEFA Champions League spots.Embed from Getty Images
The Naples club currently leads their group in Europe, comprising of defending champions Liverpool, Red Bull Salzburg and Genk. A win against Verona will set the Italian side on course before facing the high-flying Salzburg midweek.
Coming to Verona, they are one of the newly-promoted clubs from Serie B and are doing well so far. The Gialloblu are 10th in the league table, with 9 points from 7 games. They are only 4 points behind Napoli in 4th place, so, a win would propel them into the top half of the table.
On the other hand, Bologna, Parma and Milan are all tied with Ivan Juric’s side on 9 points. Thus, a loss coupled with results elsewhere could see the visiting side drop further.
However, Verona will eye this fixture as a solid test of their Serie A competitiveness as it is not easy to go to Naples and get a result more often than not.
Thus, the away side will look to get a result at the San Paolo Stadium for even a draw would serve them well at this stage.
Coming to team news, Napoli will welcome the return of left-back Mario Rui while Elseid Hysaj will miss the game with a chest injury. Nikola Maksimovic and Hirving Lozano are ruled out of the game while the rest of the squad is available.
Meanwhile, there are doubts over the availability of Alessandro Crescenzi, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Daniel Bessa for Juric but the remaining squad is fit and healthy.
Head-To-Head and Napoli vs Verona Prediction
In terms of head-to-head, Napoli is the superior side with 13 wins in the 16 meetings between the side. However, the Neapolitan club picked up just one win in their last 3 games and is not in the best of form.
Meanwhile, Juric’s side proved to be a tough nut to crack so far, conceding just 5 goals in 7 games. Further, they lost just twice, to Juventus and AC Milan, and by a solitary goal in both those games.
Thus, they are a solid defensive unit and looking at the home side’s recent form, this match is closer than it looks. However, it does help Ancelotti that their visitors have scored just 6 times so far, compared to his team’s 15.
Finally, Napoli can be expected to pick up 3 points here, however, Verona will ensure it will not be a cakewalk for the home side.
Napoli Predicted XI: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Koulibaly, Rui; Ruiz, Allan, Zielinski; Mertens, Insigne, Milik
Verona Predicted XI: Silvestri; Rrahmani, Dawidowicz, Gunter; Faraoni, Amrabat, Veloso, Lazovic; Pessina, Di Carmine; Stepinski